23 Neighborhoods: a boston real estate blog by Michael DiMella
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So You're Thinking of Buying a Home in Boston?

home buyer slidesYou've never done this before, and it can be, well...kind of intimidating. I'm sure you've had your doubts, questions, concerns... it can be really quite overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!!

You've been pondering this, discussing it with friends and family, but want more information on the market and what actually happens during your first home buying, but you're not quite sure where to get the answers? We at Charlesgate Realty Group can you help you!

We've been hosting a Boston Home Buyer Class for a few years now. It's free. And we discuss things such as:

    •    Renting vs. Buying: Whether it even makes sense for you to buy right now
    •    Homebuying process and timeline: How long it actually takes to buy
    •    Working with an agent: How it works and whether or not you really need one
    •    What mortgages are still available and how much cash you need to buy
    •    Using neighborhood level data (like discount ratios and real time trend graphs) to value properties
    •    Negotiating 101: How to craft your offer to drive a hard bargain!
    •    Top 10 online resources to aid your home search

It's very low key, we offer food and drinks before and afterward and it's a great way to learn about the Boston real estate market, ask questions that you may have regarding the process. In fact, our buyer agents stick around to answer any other questions you may have that we may not have hit upon during the class. The class is at 6pm on Tuesday September 20.

Click here to get more information and to register. We hope to see you there!

Foreclosure in Regatta Riverview hits the market at $110K less than last asking price

Regatta exteriorBanks all work differently when trying to sell their REO (bank-owned foreclosures) property, but they all have the same end goal: To sell the property quickly and try to get the best price they can.  Like normal sellers, banks are not just going to give away money, they need to recoup their costs as well.  That being said, when they bring a property to market, it is often after many months of holding and maintaining the property through the foreclosure process so they often prefer to get the property sold very quickly - which is why many foreclosures sell for a discounted price and can present opportunities to savvy buyers.

As an example of a foreclosure in the Boston area being listed at a discount to the market, we are just about to list a bank owned property at the Regatta Riverview Residences in Cambridge that literally has had a $110,000 price drop!  It was last listed pre-foreclosure for $539,000 and the bank just gave us their new listing price of $430,000.  Whatever the motivation is for them to get this property off their balance sheet, apparently the bank truly wants to "unload" this condo. 

The two key components of a home sale


There are two major differences between homes that sell in this market and homes that don't: correct pricing and proper staging.

Neither is more important than the other, and both play key roles.  They are dance partners who must be in sync for a sale to take place (not that I know much about dancing!).  I'll give you a classic example that recently took place.  In early spring, my business partner and I met with clients who had their condo in the Back Bay on the market for nearly 4 months with no success when they called us for help.  The asking price had started at $695,000 and had been lowered a few times over the 4 month listing period, eventually to $649,000.  Their condo should have been able to sell at that price, so they thought.  Still no buyers emerged. 

We went in to meet with the owners, Alma Dell and Lyle, and actually agreed with them.  Their property should sell at that price and we even suggested it could even sell for more.  But the current problems were two-fold.  The price was too high from the beginning, eating up market time and not creating an atmosphere in which buyers felt they needed to act quickly.  The other issue was how it showed.  Since the property was mainly used as a home office, it was configured that way.  The bedrooms were used for desks and books and chairs, the living room was functional but sparse, etc.  Buyers did not see it as a home.

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